Bosses at award-winning Midlands property company Springbourne Homes have been praised for their work in encouraging new, young talent into the industry by linking up with local colleges.
Chairman Adrian Burr and Chief Executive Lee Harris believe forging close connections between the work place and the classroom will help enable the next generation to make a real impact in the profession.
So they’ve recently teamed up with North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC), which has campuses in Nuneaton, Hinckley, Wigston, Harrowbrook and includes the Mira Technology Institute on the A5 at Lindley.
And the pair challenged NWSLC’s Interior Design students to style rooms for Springbourne’s upcoming development of 19 luxury homes at Wellsborough, Leicestershire and offered a top prize of £250 plus work experience.
Burr was delighted with the results, saying: “The designs were fantastic, there were some very impressive presentations from the students who clearly relished tackling a ‘real life’ brief.
“It was a rewarding experience for us too, seeing first hand what exciting ideas the next generation has to offer. Our business is focused in Warwickshire and Leicestershire so it made perfect sense to link up with a college that serves both areas.
“We are a local firm that employs local people and we are always on the look-out for the best and brightest talent.”
Springbourne’s chief executive Lee Harris was one of the judges for the competition and he believes he’s uncovered a real talent in winner James Baldwin, a 16 year old first year student from Nuneaton, Warwickshire.
Harris said: “To be a great designer you need to make a real connection with your client on a functional and emotional level and James did that brilliantly.
“He has impressive maturity for a first year student and his talent and pure passion were inspirational. All the judges were amazed how his presentation brought their senses to life as he walked them through his design.”
The three judges – Harris, Zoe Massey from Haywards Architects in Hinckley and NWSLC’s Head of Interior Design Fiona Rollings – all commended the versatility of his design.
Teenager Baldwin said: “When I found out I’d won the top prize I couldn’t believe it. The £250 prize money is fabulous but even better is the chance of work experience with Springbourne Homes and Haywards Architects.
“The opportunity to work together with them on their exciting Wellsborough development is worth far more to me than the money.”
Rollings was thrilled by the performance of her students and welcomed the new partnership with Springbourne Homes saying: “It’s been a wonderful experience for the students and given them a taste of life outside of the classroom and in the real world of work.
“We’re all very grateful that a top, local business like Springbourne Homes is keen to engage with local students to inspire and encourage them like this.”